I like to think I’m pretty web-savvy; I have blogs, exist on Facebook, MySpace, Last.fm and so on, but have never really understood what the big deal about Twitter was. I imagined it was like Facebook status updates, without the rest of Facebook, and mostly used by people for whom the next big thing is already out of fashion
This is the first of a series of posts where we’ll write about the techy things that for some reason or another we’ve never done.
So, after signing up I let Twitter search through my Gmail address book (I never feel comfortable doing this, but it’s so easy!) and it found a whole one of my contacts there! Still, you have to start somewhere…
While one friend is better than none, it isn’t enough to get a feel for what Twitter can do. The annoyingly twee introduction video told me I could stay close to my friends and family by telling them ‘I was having a coffee’. As my family and friends weren’t there, and invites could take a while to come to fruition, I headed back out into the internet for some advice.
On makeuseof.com, I found an article recommending some sites to improve your Twitter experience. The first ones to catch my eye were Twitter search and monitter. These are nice ways to keep up with what’s happening on Twitter. Stick in a search word, and you’ll see what people are Twittering about that subject. Some of the Twitters aren’t interesting, some have links to cool stuff I hadn’t seen. Monitter is much better in this respect (and you don’t even have to join Twitter), as it feeds you live results, on three simultaneous search terms, it’s like an online internet ticker.
There are lots of Firefox add-ons for Twitter, to allow you to post and receive messages without opening it in the browser. One of them is called Twitbin, and I can’t bring myself to use something called that!
I really wasn’t expecting to like Twitter, but I quickly found myself being drawn in. I can see how you’d get addicted to it (‘Confessions of a Twitter addict’ will be written soon), and was really surprised to discover it might even be useful. But I guess I’ve come too late to Twitter to be cool.